Cigar: EP Carrillo Edicion Inaugural 2009 Binder: Nicaragua/ Dominican (5 years old)
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Strength: Medium
Filler: Nicaragua/ Dominican (2-3 years old)
EP Carrillo Cigars are the first cigars that the Perez-Carrillo family released when they started thieir cigar company. They are a family that has long been in the cigar industry, and were known throughout the world. The brand, however, had a long journey before it came to fruition and became what we now know as EP Carrillo Cigars.
The legacy began with Ernesto Perez-Carillo Sr. who was born in Cuba in 1904. He learned about the tobacco and cigar industry from his father and brother. They would hand roll penny cigars and sell them on the streets of Havana. Ernesto Sr. kept with the tobacco heritage and worked for years as a tobacco buyer. In 1948, he decided to venture on his own. He purchased what we now know as a family cigar dynasty, a small cigar factory called El Credito. Through the years, the Perez-Carrillo family grew to be very well-respected in Cuba. Ernesto Sr. ran and was elected twice to the Cuban Senate in 1954 and 1958. However, when Fidel Castro gained power in Cuba, it changed their lives forever. Soon after Castro gained control, Ernesto Sr. was arrested several times for his political beliefs and the government took the family's property, including their tobacco factory. After the multiple arrests and seizure of properties, the family feared for their safety and fled to the shores of Miami in 1959. About nine years after the family reached the safety of the U.S. shores, Ernesto Sr. purchased another cigar factory in Little Havana and in tribute, named it El Credito, as well. He worked at his passion until he passed in 1980. At that time, Ernesto Jr. took the reigns of El Credito, ready to continue his father;s legacy. In doing so, he set out to create a cigar that would entice the palate. With that, he created La Gloria Cubana, a perfectly blended cigar. The cigar was an instant success in Miami, and soon after became one of the most sought after cigars in the world. The demand deemed to be too much for this family run business, and in 1999 Swedish Match purchased El Credito. Ernesto Jr. continued on at Swedish Match/General Cigar until March 2009. At that point, his children, Ernesto III and Lissette, pleaded with him to return to the tobacco fields he knew so much about and create the worlds next great cigar, and he did. In late 2009, he started EP Carrillo Cigars.
The Edicion Inaugural 2009 was the first release of EP Carrillo Cigars. The wrapper is made from 3 year old Ecuadorian Habano. It is a light brown color, with minimal veins, and visually flawless. The cigar itself feels firm and it has some weight to it. The filler and binder are both made from 5 year old Nicaraguan and Dominican tobacco. The pre-light draw smells of sweet grass, with hints of cinnamon. Upon the light of the cigar, and the initial draw, the taste is very complex. The tastes here include the cinnamon and sweet grass as noted in the pre-light draw, as well as honey, and a white pepper spice. During the second-third, the beginning flavors remained, but an added note of graham cracker and vanilla start to come through. The white pepper seems to fade at this point. In the final third, the pepper is back, bringing all the previously mentioned flavors right along with it. This cigar finishes with a nice creamy caramel, and rich, buttery flavor. The ash is white, and holds firm and stable throughout the burn. It produces large clouds of creamy smoke. The burn is even and slow.
EP Carrillo Cigars only released 150,000 EP Carrillo Edicion Inaugural 2009 cigars due to the rare ingredients they used. They are so rare in fact, that there is not enough for regular production. They come in only one size, 5 5/8 inch x 52 ring gauge, and are sold in boxes of ten. The overall complexity of this cigar makes it a joy to smoke, and well worth the price. The flavors are perfectly married, so one does not overpower the other. EP Carrillo Cigars have proven themselves to be marvels in the cigar industry. So if you get the opportunity you might want to add one of these beauties to your collection sitting in the humidor.